Okay, enough about Murray. As I was laying in bed sleeplessly last night, I was thinking about the great pitching performance of King Felix and then my thoughts drifted to the playoff races and what the success factors are for teams that are in the race. Specifically, what has a greater effect on a team's chances - injuries or performance (good or bad) outlier seasons (i.e., who would have thought Jon Garland would put up the numbers he has).
Sure in the case of the Sox and Yanks, where both are expected to make the playoffs, there are other teams that don't have the depth and accordingly need things to "fall into place."
Like the White Sox - Sure Beurhle was on his way to being a top pitcher, but they got excellent performances from some less heralded pitchers.
The Twins were expected to win the Central but had a slow start from Johan and a disappointing season from Morneau and (less so) Mauer, as well as some of their other bats. And then Hunter got injured.
Or the A's - they are struggling a bit with Crosby's latest injury - but what if Chavez and Zito did not suck for two months? Or Dotel did not go down for the season. which of these has had a greater impact? Maybe the A's could be 5 up by now. Or 10 down if Finely hit like Finley.
I know this is a bit disjointed (sorry), but it really did make me wonder, which is more important.